Famous Women IPS Officers: How To Become A Female IPS Officer In India

Published on 16 Feb 2022 . 1 min read

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Join the ranks of the famous women IPS officers in India. Learn about IPS officer qualifications, how to pass the UPSC IPS exam, and become a lady IPS officer.

The Indian Police Service or IPS came into existence when it replaced the Indian Imperial Police in 1948 - a year after India became independent from the British Raj.

Today, many young Indian women aspire to join the IPS, one of the three civil services that come under the All India Services. These include the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

An IPS officer is also known as a police officer, and more young women want to become IPS officers thanks to the portrayal of powerful female IPS officer roles in a number of Bollywood movies featuring lady IPS officers.

From Hema Malini in Andha Kanoon, to Tabu in Drishyam, Rani Mukerji in Mardaani, Priyanka Chopra in Jai Gangaajal, and Bipasha Basu who played a glamourous female IPS officer in Dhoom 2, these movies have offered powerful role models for Indian women with a strong sense of justice.

Even motherhood doesn’t have to stop you from joining the IPS, as long as you meet the UPSC IPS exam age limit. One example of a young single mother who joined the police force is Sub-inspector Anie Siva, who now works in the same area she used to sell lemonade as a young girl.

So why should you become an IPS officer? In this article, we feature stories of some well-known women IPS officers in India. If they inspire you to take up the cause of justice and fight crime, then you may want to consider becoming a female IPS officer.

What Does An IPS Officer Do?

IPS officers help to investigate and prevent crime and terrorism, maintain public peace and order, and collect intelligence. In addition, they are tasked with providing security to VIPs.

According to the official IPS website, IPS officers can be appointed in autonomous organizations / sub-ordinate organizations / PSUs / UN Organizations / International Organizations in various capacities. 

They can also serve as Personal Secretaries to Ministers in Central Government. A large number of senior posts in Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (viz, CRPF, CISF, BSF, SSB, ITBP, NSG), besides CBI, IB, RAW, etc are manned by IPS officers.

5 Famous Women IPS Officers In India

These stories of real-life lady IPS officers are even more inspiring than the Bollywood versions, as they show us the thorny challenges female IPS officers in India are faced with and how they overcame them. 

Here are some famous women IPS officers who continue to inspire Indian women to join the Indian Police Service.

#1. IPS Officer Kiran Bedi

IPS Officer Kiran Bedi was the first woman IPS officer in India. She was the only woman in a batch of 80 IPS Officers and became the first woman in India to join the officer ranks of the Indian Police Service (IPS). She was also appointed as the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, from May 2016 to February 2021.

As the first female IPS officer, Kiran Bedi started her service in 1972 and continued to serve for 35 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2007 as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development.

As an IPS Officer, she overcame numerous personal and career challenges, from dealing with hostile government officials and superiors, to dealing with her daughter’s ill health. 

When she was posted to the Delhi Prisons as inspector general (IG), she became famous for transforming Tihar Jail - a violent and unmanageable place where no officer wanted to be posted - into a model prison.

She introduced several reforms, such as vocational training with certificates, a de-addiction center, and even yoga and Vipassana meditation classes to change the prisoners' attitudes. 

Her TED Talk, How I remade one of India's toughest prisons, details how she focused on prevention and education - even involving outsiders like NGOs, schools, civilians, and former inmates - to turn Tihar Jail into a center of learning and meditation.

Watch Video 

#2. IPS Officer Jija Hari Singh

IPS Officer Jija Hari Singh was the first female IPS Officer from Karnataka, having qualified for the civil services exam in the year 1975, when Kiran Bedi was still doing her IPS training and joining the police force was not an option for a woman.

After becoming one of the first women IPS officers in India, she continued her learning and education, doing many in-service training programs, and received an MA Degree in Sociology from Mysore University. 

As an IPS Officer, Jija Hari Singh then went on to work on a PhD in Development Studies on the subject of women’s empowerment, and did a socio-economic study of the women recruited into Police in the state of Karnataka, from Police Constable to DSP. 

This multi-talented IPS Officer is also a reputed artist who held solo exhibitions in Washington, Wollongong, and New Delhi, and had her work exhibited in London, Vienna, Berlin, and Jakarta. 

She also received the Indira Priyadarshini National Award for Contribution to Arts and was one of the fifty Indian women artists chosen by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for the international exhibitions of the Amrita Shergil Revisited project.

She remained in service for 36 years before retirement in 2011 as Director General of Police (DGP), and is currently the President of the Institute of Directors, Bangalore Chapter, and the Honorary President of The Art Mantram Foundation, a not-for-profit trust that promotes Indian art.

#3. IPS Officer Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya

IPS Officer Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya was the second female IPS officer in India, after Kiran Bedi. Inspired to join the IPS after the police refused to register a case when her father was attacked over a property dispute, she saw the IPS as a path to serving justice.

She has many firsts to her career, as first woman to be an IPS officer in Uttar Pradesh, first woman Inspector General of the Uttar Pradesh Police, and first woman appointed as Deputy General Inspector of Police in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.

 She represented India at the 2004 Interpol meeting in Cancún, Mexico, hosted the 2nd Women in Police Conference in Mussoorie, and made a guest appearance on the TV series, Udaan, which was written and directed by her sister, Kavita Chaudhary, and inspired by her life story.

She also ran as a candidate of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from Haridwar, Uttarakhand in the 2014 Indian general election. 

#4. IPS Officer Roopa Divakar Moudgil

Another multi-talented IPS Officer, Roopa Divakar Moudgil is the current Inspector General of Police, Bengaluru. She is also a playback singer in Kannada cinemas, and has sung a song for Kannada film Bayalaatada Bheemanna, starring Ravichandran in the lead.

She was posted as Additional Commandant General, Home Guards & Ex-Officio Additional Director, Civil defence, commissioner for traffic and road safety, and Deputy Inspector General of Prisons in Karnataka. 

As a whistleblower, IPS Officer Roopa faced hostility, criticism, and risks to her life and career for exposing corruption in Bengaluru jail. However, this did not deter her from taking on the mighty and powerful, and she continued to courageously expose the special privileges given illegally to powerful politician-convicts in jail. 

She has also given various talks at TEDx conferences in India and is a popular face among IPS officers. In this TEDx talk, she speaks about how special privileges, given to certain influential prisoners flouting laws, rules, and court orders as quid-pro-quo, works against a healthy prison system.

In her talk on Why Bureaucrats Hesitate to Act, she discusses the challenges and illogical fears that keep bureaucrats from acting fearlessly against the mighty and powerful. 

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She also shares Michelle Obama’s quote that, “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” She has also given TEDx talks on Tackling Social Media Crimes and How to Conquer your Fears

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” ~ Michelle Obama

However, these female IPS officers were not alone in facing hostility from powerful people. Both male and female IPS officers face challenges when they go up against those in power. 

#5. IPS Officer Navjot Simi

IPS Officer Navjot Simi hails from Gurdaspur, Punjab. She is a 2017 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer who was posted as DSP in Patna. She became well-known for clearing the UPSC Civil Services Examination after starting a career as a dentist. 

IPS Officer Navjot Simi is something of a social media celebrity and is very active on Instagram, where she spreads awareness about women empowerment and cybercrime. 

How To Become An IPS Officer

According to the IPS website, there are three modes of recruitment to the Indian Police Service:

  • Through Civil Services Examination (UPSC exam) conducted by Union Public Service Commission

  • Through Limited Competitive Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission

  • Through appointment of State Police Service officers by promotion

What are the IPS qualifications?

The essential IPS exam qualification to take the UPSC exam or IPS exam is that you must have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university, or must be awaiting results of the final year exams of the qualifying exam. 

One specific IPS officer qualification is passing the IPS medical test, for which you need to be in excellent health and, while spectacles are allowed, you must have decent eyesight, among other requirements.

What is the IPS exam syllabus?

As with all UPSC candidates, the IPS candidates must pass a preliminary exam, main examination and an interview/personality test. 

There is no separate IPS exam paper, so the IPS syllabus is the same as the UPSC exam syllabus. The IPS exam eligibility is the same as the UPSC eligibility criteria for taking the UPSC exam. 

To help you prepare for the UPSC IPS exam, you can use these UPSC exam preparation tips. One of the best exam study tips to pass the IPS officer exam - and one that all the toppers recommend - is to do online mock tests to improve your exam preparations.

On the Glow & Lovely Careers portal, you will find free online mock tests for State Government Exams, as well as free Delhi Police online mock tests to help you understand the examination syllabus and requirements.

In addition, these study tips for exams will help you improve your focus, memory, and study habits so you can ace any exam, including the GK and current affairs exams for UPSC.

What is the IPS age limit?

The minimum IPS age limit is 21 years, and the maximum age is 32 years as on 1st of August in the year of examination. 

What is the IPS officer height for females?

The minimum height required to become a female IPS officer is 150 cm for the general category, and 145 cm for women in other categories.

Where is the IPS officer training centre?

IPS officer training for girl cadets is the same as that for men. All the officers of Indian Police Service undergo probationary training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad. 

Watch this IPS training video to learn what it takes to pass the IPS officer training. After successful completion of probation, officers are confirmed in the service. Also, there is a provision for mandatory Mid-Career Training for IPS officers across their entire service span.

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What is an IPS officer’s salary?

How much does an IPS officer earn? According to this article, when they join as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), their basic salary is ₹56100 + ₹5400 (Grade Pay) excluding TA, DA, HRA.

You can see the designations held by IPS officers and their corresponding pay structure in the screenshot below from the official IPS website

ips officer salary.jpg

Image source: IPS website

Promotions and salary raises are awarded after evaluating the performance of the IPS officer on the basis of the Annual Performance Appraisal Reports, Vigilance Clearance, and the overall record of the officer.

So did this article on famous female IPS officers inspire you? If you’re interested in studying for competitive exams or government exams, join the Glow & Lovely Career Community on SHEROES and get free career guidance and career tips from experts.

Priya Florence Shah
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, award-winning publisher of Naaree.com and online branding consultant. Since 2006, she has published Naaree.com - one of the top blogs for women.

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